King's Quest is a graphical adventure puzzle video game developed and published by Sierra On-Line, for the PCjr on 1984-05-10, and later ported to several other platforms. It is the first in the King's Quest series and the first game to utilize Sierra's Adventure Game Interpreter engine. It is a pioneer of the PC graphical adventure genre, a genre that remained hugely popular for another decade in the industry and spawned many rivals, most of whom made better games than Sierra. After a sequel was released, Sierra re-released King's Quest in 1987 with the title King's Quest I: Quest For the Crown with new box art and a slightly improved program.
I first played King's Quest after it was re-released in the King's Quest: Collection Series in 1997. Having already played King's Quest VI, I remember being very unimpressed by the low-quality graphics and sound. Over the span of a couple years, I worked at the game long enough to beat it.
I own a digital release of the game through Steam. I have beaten it, though not with a full score.
- Overall: 3/10
- Best Version: Remake using the SCI engine.
— This section contains spoilers! —
- The game has a fair amount of charm, incorporating various fairy tales.
- Though very dated now, the game is a pioneer in the PC-based adventure game. Hundreds of games have used this game's concept of a single screen as a room and walking off-screen into the next room.
- The AGI engine was well-made and served to make about another dozen Sierra games.
- There are far too many ways to die!
- By using fairy tales as a basis for several of the puzzles, the answers were often very obvious.
- Some of the monsters aren't really puzzles they just get in the way, like the wolf, troll, and thieving gnome.
- The jump, duck, and swim buttons are annoying, and I'm glad they got rid of them in the sequels.
- The wrap-around world layout is dumb. It basically means the world is a tiny torus floating in space.
- Although it was acceptable for the day, the graphics are not very professionally drawn. There is even the occasional uncolored pixel that was overlooked.
- For some reason, the programmers added a way to drop items. Dropped items cannot be picked back up again, and therefore causes you to get stuck. They wisely removed the ability in later versions of the game.
- There are a couple of ways to put the game in an unwinnable state, most of which are caused by the gnome, but I've always just reloaded if he every robbed me.
- Too many of the puzzles are really just walking hazards. That's not adventure, that's keyboard dexterity. And, since you're given unlimited saves, the only purpose they serve is to slow the game down.